The good news is that sarcopenia is not chronic and can be reversed with a healthy diet, workouts and quitting smoking.  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
- Regularly giving essential nutrients a miss can result in muscle loss over the years as we age.
- When one starts ageing, loss of muscle mass can increase the risk of conditions like sarcopenia.
- With regular exercise and following a healthy diet, one can not only lower the risk of losing muscle mass but can also boost the chances of living longer.
New Delhi: What we eat now and how we act greatly influences the state of our health – an unhealthy imbalanced diet contributes to a high risk of weight gain and obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle spikes the likelihood of metabolic disorders. However, according to a new study published in Scientific Reports journal, regularly giving essential nutrients a miss can result in muscle loss over the years as we age.
The link between diet and muscle loss decoded
Little do we realise how declining muscle mass can impact health till it impacts mobility at a later stage in life. When one starts ageing, loss of muscle mass can increase the risk of conditions like sarcopenia.
In the study, experts looked at 1211 volunteers above 65 years of age. They discovered that there were various factors that contributed to the loss of muscle mass. Some of these factors included socioeconomic status and underlying health conditions, however, the most prominent and common one was poor nutritional intake.
Experts believed that this could partly be because of loss of appetite over time which could, in turn, deprive the elderly of essential nutrients they need thereby triggering quick loss of muscle mass. With regular exercise and following a healthy diet, one can not only lower the risk of losing muscle mass but can also boost the chances of living longer, as concluded by a study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research which links muscle loss to early mortality.
For the study, experts studied men and women above 65 years of age for a period of years and followed their body composition and bone density. They discovered that women with low appendicular mass – fat and visceral fat in the arms and legs – were 63 times more like to diet earlier as opposed to the rest. Men, on the other hand, with that form of mass were 11 times more prone to early death risk. This effect, wherein women were at higher risk, was attributed to dipping estrogen levels which adversely affected muscle mass, belly fat, and bone density.
Experts revealed that muscle mass played an important role in stabilising hips and shoulders. Therefore, when one loses that mass, they lose stability, struggle with low bone mineral density, and higher risk of falls and fracture.
The good news is that sarcopenia is not chronic and can be reversed with a healthy diet, workouts and quitting smoking.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter.
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